Do workers waste time in the workplace?

THINK back to your day at work - did you spend a couple of minutes chatting to a co-worker, catching up on the latest news online or scanning your Facebook feed?

If so, you're not alone.

According to a survey by US employment website, you're not even part of the minority with 69% of people admitting to wasting time at work, some for several hours.

But before you shake your head at all those lost hours of productivity, we have some good news.

CQUni Dean of Human, Health and Social Sciences professor Andy Bridges says not all non-work related activity in the workplace is a bad thing.

"I don't think it's necessarily a problem if people are still getting the job done," Prof Bridges said.

How do you waste time at work?

This poll ended on 29 March 2013.

Current Results

Using social media (Facebook, Twitter etc)


Chatting with colleagues


Looking at websites


Playing online games


Sending or receiving lots of SMSes


I don't waste time at work


I am wasting time at work right now


I waste time in other ways


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Prof Bridges said no one generation was guilty of personal web browsing during work hours.

"Younger people spend time on social media but people more advanced in their years might do their banking online," he said.

The professor said the occasional chat with a co-worker or an online break could be good for morale.

The majority of those surveyed, 34%, said they routinely wasted 30 minutes or less each day, 24% said they wasted between 30 and 60 minutes, 11% said they spent several hours per day wasting time and 10% said they never wasted one minute of the working day.

The online survey revealed the most popular way to waste time at work was by interacting with co-workers with 43% of people admitting that was their biggest time waster followed by surfing the internet with 28% of people doing.

So should employers be cracking down on this behaviour and blocking non-work-related websites?

Apparently there's no point with more than half of the survey respondents saying they'd just use their phone to get online.

Topics:  careers productivity social media

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